On Friday, the 2012 Wimbledon draws were announced for both men's and women's singles. In the women's draw, top seed Maria Sharapova, the 2004 champion and 2012 French Open winner, begins first round action against Australia's Russian-born Anastasia Rodionova, currently ranked 133rd in the world. Unseeded for the first time in a long time, Kim Clijsters of Belgium, a four-time Grand Slam title winner who will retire after this year's U.S. Open, is in the same quarter of the draw as Sharapova and begins her quest for Wimbledon glory against former world number one Jelena Jankovic.
Defending Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, the fourth seed, starts her campaign against the 96th-ranked Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan. Five-time champion Venus Williams, unseeded this year, takes on Russia's Elena Vesnina, while her sister Serena, a four-time Wimbledon winner, faces Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic.
Second-seeded Victoria Azarenka, the 2012 Australian Open champion, could face Kvitova in the semis, begins her quest for the women's title against current world 78th-ranked American Irina Falconi.
On the men's side of the draw, defending champion and world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia and six-time winner Roger Federer of Switzerland are once again set on a Grand Slam collision course when they were placed in the same half of the Wimbledon draw. The top-seeded Serb will start his campaign against Spain's former world number one, Juan Carlos Ferrero, while Federer, who has lost in the Wimbledon quarterfinals in the last two years, takes on another Spaniard, Albert Ramos.
Second-seeded Rafael Nadal, the Wimbledon champion in 2008 and 2010, is fresh off a record seventh French Open title, and will meet Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci, currently ranked 78th in the world. The number four seed, Andy Murray of Great Britain, has lost in the semifinals in the last two years to Nadal, and drew world number 47th-ranked Russian Nikolay Davydenko in his opening match.
Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 Wimbledon champion, begins his quest for another title a decade later as he drew Frenchman and world number five-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round.
Action begins at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club Monday, June 25th.